NextGear Capital wants to make sure the dealer voice is heard when it comes to floor-planning and other company activities.

Last week, building on the success of its inaugural DRIVE Dealer Advisory Board (DRIVE) launched in 2021, NextGear announced members of its new board for 2023-25 to gain even greater understanding of what independent dealers require to be successful in an evolving marketplace.

The new 10-person advisory board represents a cross-section of NextGear Capital’s national footprint from Florida to Oregon.

The new advisory board members include:

—Maurice Rached, AutoBay in Burlington, N.J.

—Mark Becker, Forthright Auto in Albuquerque, N.M.

—Tripp Blandford, Pure 1 Auto in New Bern, N.C.

—Rob Boley, 24/7 Cars in Larwill, Ind.

—Carlos Capitillo, CarsCatch in Woodstock, Ga.

—Mike Hall, Premier Trucks and Imports in King, N.C.

—Daniel Johnson, LiteHouse Auto Inc. in Lakewood, N.Y.

—Ray Lashgari, Crown Motors PDX in Gladstone, Ore.

—Gary Pretzfeld, Auto Trust USA in Miramar, Fla.

—Tawanda Roberts, B & J Auto Sales LLC in Olive Branch, Miss.

To ensure varied viewpoints and wide-ranging feedback, NextGear highlighted DRIVE is composed of a diverse group of dealer clients based on the following criteria:

—Varying lines of credit

—Minority and female-owned dealership representation

—Those who use technology in different ways

—Buyers from different wholesale vehicle auctions

—Both long-term and new NextGear clients

The new board held its first meeting with NextGear president Scott Maybee and members of his leadership team in October and will continue meeting bimonthly in a virtual setting.

Leadership mentioned DRIVE is designed to provide a platform for open and direct dialogue between NextGear Capital and a representative group of independent dealers.

“The first-hand perspectives we’ve gained from our Advisory Board have been incredibly valuable to helping us focus on solutions that deliver the highest value to our 20,000-plus dealer clients every single day,” Maybee said in a news release.

Among the solutions that DRIVE has contributed to are the development and launch of the Account Portal mobile app that gives independent dealers the ability to make faster, more informed buying and selling decisions, and suggested improvements to client communications.

The company added feedback from past and present advisory board members also demonstrates the value of DRIVE.

“It shows that NextGear Capital is a real partner that listens to the needs of its clients and creates real world solutions,” said Maybee, who mentioned NextGear also has an Auction Advisory Board created to deepen the company’s commitment to auto auctions that support independent dealers.

“I think this board is an invaluable tool for NextGear Capital to get firsthand input from dealers to help shape and develop products that are relevant to current market conditions,” Maybee continued. “We look forward to continuing this purpose and listening to the dealers’ voice.”